April 7, 2019

Shred Event

March 22, 2019

House Hunting Online

Top Tips for House Hunting Online

Blog May (12)

Hunting for a new home online a is a great place to start your search but keep in mind that you don’t see everything. Real estate agents are great at highlighting the features of a house listing online but to make the most of your time, keep these three things in mind:

Identify your Housing Needs

Preferences are important when house searching. A house may not have everything you want but it will have most of the things. Be realistic about pricing and keep in mind the must-have items that will definitely be needed because this will help narrow your search.

Stay up to Date

When you start your search, make sure you go to sites with up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service. Realtors post their most current homes for sale through this. Many sites fail to remove listings that are already off the market, and this can lead to you trying to sort through them and find the recent ones.

Pictures can be Deceiving

Photographers capture listings at their best. They use different strategies and tools to boost the appeal of the home like creative editing and expensive camera equipment known for its effects. What they don’t show is unappealing parts, like an undone bathroom or small closet.

Go See The Listing After

After you have chosen a house that’s appealing to you, schedule a showing with your real estate agent. This is the opportunity to see every part of the house in person and see if it’s a good fit. Searching online is a great way to learn more about the house you’re looking for. Even if you’re still unsure about moving, house hunting online gives potential sellers the basic information.

March 8, 2019

Tips For Buyers Considering a Fixer Upper

Tips for a Buyer of a Fixer-Upper

 

blog april

 

Over the last few years weekend warriors have been delighted to find an abundance of television shows devoted to fixing up homes. More specifically, they show viewers how to take a fixer upper and turn it from an ugly duckling to a special property that they can call home. It sounds so easy but before you grab a sledge hammer and head out to buy that cheap bankowned building on the corner, there are things to consider. First and foremost, how handy are you really? Fixer-uppers can vary from cosmetic paint and carpet, maybe changing a countertop or fixtures; then there are fixers which have electrical problems and slab leaks. It’s important to understand what you are capable of handling – either yourself or supervisory level. 

 

Tips for a Buyer of a Fixer-Upper

 Do Your Research – Don’t assume anything. Check for local ordinances and zones to make sure the plans you have for the property are truly available to you.

 Hire a Professional – Regardless of your level of “handiness” you need professional help. Start with a professional home inspection and understand the true condition of the home.

 Know Your Limits – A great deal is only a deal if you can take on the project. Be honest with yourself. If you need to, hire a General Contractor to handle the renovation.

 

Fixer-uppers can be great investments. These properties can be converted to beautiful homes or flipped for quick profit, but either way, handled well these ugly ducklings will live up to the best episode of HGTV. 

Feb. 22, 2019

Choosing A New Home Builder

 

 

You’ve found the perfect patch of land and now you’re ready to build your new home, from scratch. The right home builder is the key between a beautiful custom home and a project filled with delays and extra costs – a money pit. If you don’t have a great builder on speed dial, how can you find a good new home contractor? Here are a few tips for making sure you get the best builder for your project. 

• Build a List of Options – The first step is to find local builders who create homes which suit your lifestyle and taste.

• Do Your Homework – Ask for references and take your time in doing your due diligence. Ask for past clients who will be willing to meet with you and show you the actual homes they have built. Ask about the process and if they finished on time. Ask about problems and find out how the builder solved them.

• Learn About the Subcontractors – A strong builder works with the best craftsmen in the area. Ask about the subcontractors and interview them and check their references as well. 

 

Learn all you can about the builder and their projects. Make sure the homes are built with solid materials and construction techniques. Before you choose anyone, you should feel completely assured they will create a great home and completely understand your vision. 

 

Feb. 15, 2019

8 Things Buyers Notice as Soon as they Walk In

 

Buyers notice everything – good and bad. From the moment they walk in the front door, they are trying to determine if this is the right home for them and their family. If you have your home listed for sale, paying attention to what the buyers notice can mean the difference between an offer and a missed opportunity. 8 Things Buyers Notice as Soon as they Walk In

1. Light – A bright home is inviting. Make sure you fill your home with lots of natural light or a soft evening glow.

2. Smell – Nothing is less inviting than a strong odor. Even candles and air fresheners can be overwhelming. Less is more and make sure nothing unpleasant is lingering.

3. Space – Remove any unneeded furniture and offer a spacious home which flows.

4. Ceilings – Of course you can’t make your ceilings higher, but make sure they are free from water stains because buyers will look up.

5. Pictures and Personal Items – Remove personalization as much as possible so the buyers can imagine their family in the home.

6. Outdated Furnishings and Fixtures – If your home is filled with hand-me-downs, consider a professional stager. Old wall paper or outdated paint colors should be replaced as well. 7. Dirty, Grimy Rooms – Most important, clean everything thoroughly. Nothing is less appealing than a dirty home.

Feb. 8, 2019

How to Know When it's Time to Move?

 

Most people dread the thought of moving, yet those same people love it when they move. Why? Most likely it’s emotional attachment and nostalgia for a beloved home. It’s understandable but yet a home that just doesn’t fit your needs any longer can make even the most loved home uncomfortable.

Are you wondering if it’s time to move? Here are 6 telltale signs that you should consider putting the “for sale” sign up in your front yard.

1. Your Home is Too Small – One of the most common signs is that you’ve outgrown your home.

2. Your Home is Too Large – Life changes! Empty nesters often find the home too large and it’s maintenance too much when they finally have time to travel and relax.

3. Your Home is Too Expensive – Are you spending all your extra cash making repairs or do you want major upgrades to suit your lifestyle?

4. The Neighborhood is Losing Value – Neighborhoods do change over time, if yours is declining consider a move.

5. Changing the Weather – Have you finally tired of shoveling snow? A move to a warmer state could be the right move.

6. Change is Good – The last great reason to move is to try something new. Different style or location, if the home isn’t making you happy any longer, time to move. 

Jan. 18, 2019

Real Estate Advice to Ignore

 

 

 

Buying or selling your home is a big decision. It’s natural to have questions, but how can you tell if the information and advice you receive is accurate to your situation? Not only can you find bad information online but it might come from unexpected sources, like your friends, your family and even your agent. Here are a few of terrible real estate advice that you should ignore each and every time.

 

• You’ll save money if you don’t work with an agent – Both buyers and sellers fall into this trap, but bottom line, a good agent will save both parties money through their market knowledge and negotiation skills.

• Determining your price by online estimates – Online home value estimates, such as Zillow’s Zestimates, are just that – estimates. Ask a local agent for a comprehensive market analysis to really understand the property value.

• No need to update/repair, buyers will do that – While there is some truth to the idea that buyers will want to upgrade to suit their taste, it’s critical to offer a clean, wellmaintained home with some modern amenities.

• Any agent can open a door – If that’s all they did, yes, any agent can open a door. The right agent will find the best possible terms and price for their clients.

Dec. 28, 2018

Winterize Your Vacant Home

The cold weather is here. Regardless of whether you’re packing up a vacation home for the season or simply traveling from your primary residence for a week or two, caring for a vacant home during the winter months is important. Protect one of your best assets in critical in the colder weather.

 Keep Your Home From Looking Vacant - Colder weather means fewer neighbors out and about. New technology, such as Alexa, can help you make the home seem occupied. Add a video doorbell and/or CCTV to allow you to “watch” your home from anywhere.

 Protect Your Pipes – Bursting pipes can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Drain your pipes by opening faucets and flushing toilets, and then turn off the water before you leave.

 Keep a Minimum Temperature – Even with drained pipes, the home temperature should not drop below 55 degrees. Appliances, hot water heater and other systems still risk damage in freezing temperatures.

 Perform Preventative Maintenance Before You Leave – In addition to basic upkeep, make sure your systems are working properly. Heating and cooling systems, appliances, wiring and outlets can all create a fire hazard if not in good condition. Unplug all appliances and unnecessary lights before you leave.

 Have an Emergency Plan – Make sure someone is available for help in an emergency

Posted in Home Tips
Dec. 21, 2018

Great Wolf considers water park in Maryland

 

Great Wolf Resorts Inc., which operates 18 indoor and outdoor water parks in North America, is considering a $200 million water park and lodge in Cecil County, Maryland, next to Hollywood Casino.

 

For more info => https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2018/12/17/exclusivegreat-wolf-lodge-to-build-a-200m-44-acre.html?fbclid=IwAR1d2bXZSYQcMjdNSapa3T-XfKja6aC5sleAMD4B05TbUMB6NJBvkBIBcvA

Dec. 7, 2018

Holiday Décor For Less

 

The holiday season is here. Decorating magazines and store fronts are filled with beautiful wreaths, themed pillows and festive decorations, but this can be expensive. Decking the halls doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Add some freshness to your home this season with these inexpensive ideas.

 DIY Ornament Wreath – Find some inexpensive ornaments and use your hot glue gun to attach to a wreath shape.  Fresh Greenery – Extra cuttings from the tree or even an evergreen in your yard adds charm to your front door, table or mantle.

 Candles – Real or fake, candles create ambiance throughout the home. Use silver or white candle sticks and holders to contrast with fresh greens for a modern look.

 Candy Canes – Fill jars or glassware with multi-colored candy canes and leave on coffee tables and dressers.

 Wrap Your Gifts Early – Nestle wrapped presents under the tree or in piles in corners. Use festive, colorful paper to add to the charm of the room.

 Holiday Pillows – Discount stores offer inexpensive holiday pillows to through on sofas, beds and chairs.

 Fairy Lights – Adding battery powered light strands to wreaths, tucked in greens and trimmings and clear bowls filled with ornaments can add a sparkle to the room.

 

These are just a few tips for decorating your home this year for less money, and have fun doing it. 

Posted in Home Tips